Geismar, Louisiana - BASF has opened its first North American methylamines plant at its chemical complex in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. The new unit is one of 22 plants on the 2600 acre (10.5 million sq.m) site.
The expansion, which began in 2009 and was completed in May 2011, creates 11 new permanent jobs. The methylamines plant, the first for BASF in North America, is also the first of its kind in Louisiana and BASF said 25 Oct that it gives the company an immediate source of key chemical building blocks based on methanol and ammonia feed stocks.
BASF's customers use these derivatives as key starting materials to make water-treatment, gas treatment and cleaning agents,
detergents, pharmaceuticals and crop protectants. Methylamines are also used as building blocks to synthesise solvents such as dimethylformamide (DMF) and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP). These solvents are used in the production of synthetic polyurethane leather, textile coatings and fibres.
In Geismar, BASF has created connections to local terminals, and can now efficiently ship methanol and ammonia via pipeline to its new methylamines facility instead of having to transport the products via truck or rail.
BASF has a global network of methylamines plants including those at its Verbund sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Nanjing, China.
"BASF is extremely pleased to now be manufacturing methylamines in North America," said Beate Ehle, president, market and business development, BASF North America.
She added, "This further strengthens our position as a leading global supplier of standard and speciality amines. The new plant demonstrates our commitment to sustainable development and further growth in North America, and it emphasises our commitment to Geismar as one of the Verbund sites of BASF."
BASF said that to secure the project, Louisiana Economic Development (LED) helped the company qualify for financing through Gulf Opportunity Zone bonds used to spur post-hurricane economic recovery in the state
BASF's Geismar site employs some 1400 of which 780 are BASF employees and about 620 are contractors.